Wednesday 22 November 2017

Greeks versus the geeks

There's only one possible conclusion from last week's events in Europe. The EU has turned into Woody Allen.

There's a scene in the New York director's film Manhattan Murder Mystery where Allen's character commands his wife, played by Diane Keaton, not to creep out of their apartment in the middle of the night to investigate a strange noise, and she just ignores him. "I forbid you. I'm forbidding!" he's reduced to declaring ineffectually. "Is this what you do when I'm forbidding? I'm not going to be forbidding you a lot, if you do."

That was Europe last week, as the big guns lined up to warn off Greece from voting No to the proposed deal on offer from its creditors, and the Greeks just went ahead and did it anyway.

Is this what people do when the stuffed shirts forbid them? If so, the stuffed shirts won't be doing it a lot in future.

Of course, it may all go horribly wrong, with Greece turning into the one place in mainland Europe that immigrants aren't desperately trying to get into; but there's something almost magnificent about the sheer bloodymindedness of it all. Even the biggest supporter of the vainglorious pan-European project surely harbours a secret desire that the Greeks will get away with it, just to give Angela Merkel, above right, Jean-Claude Juncker & co a bloody nose. At least they're giving defiance a go. It's more than we ever did.

Eilis O'Hanlon

Sunday Independent

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